Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain

E. Magyari, J. C. Chapman, D. G. Passmore, J. R M Allen, J. P. Huntley, B. Huntley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: We used a combination of new and previously published palaeoecological data to test three hypotheses: that wooded steppe persisted in the Great Hungarian Plain throughout the Holocene; that wooded steppe and steppe were most extensive between c. 9900 and 8300 cal. yr bp (the 'Boreal steppe' period); and that Southern Continental, Pontic and Eastern Sub-Mediterranean steppe species reached the region during the early Holocene via the 'Lower Danube Corridor'. Location: Sarló-hát oxbow lake, Hungary and the Eastern European wooded steppe zone. Methods: Holocene sediments deposited in the Sarló-hát oxbow lake were subjected to pollen and microcharcoal analyses. Twelve radiocarbon age estimates were obtained to determine sediment chronology. In addition, previously published palaeoecological data from the Great Hungarian Plain were compiled, analysed and compared with previous studies in other regions of steppe and wooded steppe in eastern Europe. Results: Palynological data from two sediment cores extending to c. 11,400 cal. yr bp indicate the persistent dominance of the landscape by temperate deciduous wooded steppe throughout the Holocene, although with varying canopy composition. Warm-continental steppe grasslands and saline tall-grass meadows developed on edaphically constrained areas, which remained steppe-dominated throughout the Holocene. The extent of steppe grasslands did not increase between 9900 and 8300 cal. yr bp. After c. 3100 cal. yr bp, anthropogenic activities led to the development of cultural steppe. Thermophilous steppe species of the Southern Continental, Pontic and Sub-Mediterranean floristic elements probably reached the Great Hungarian Plain principally via the Lower Danube Corridor during the late glacial interstadial and Holocene. Eurythermic members of these elements, however, probably survived the Last Glacial Maximum in favourable microsites, extending their ranges during the Holocene from these local sources. Main conclusions: Our results confirm the Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain, disprove the 'Boreal steppe' theory, and suggest an Early Holocene period of greater vegetation openness between 11,400 and 9900 cal. yr bp. Evidence for the post-glacial immigration of south-eastern steppe elements into the Carpathian Basin is equivocal: the last glacial/interglacial presence of several southern steppe species suggests that the Hungarian Plain hosted suitable habitats for them during warm and cold phases alike.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-935
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Biogeography
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

Fingerprint

steppes
steppe
persistence
Holocene
plain
oxbow lakes
oxbow lake
sediments
grasslands
grassland
Last Glacial-Interglacial
Eastern European region
interstadial

Keywords

  • Carpathian Basin
  • Holocene vegetation history
  • Hungary
  • Lower Danube Corridor
  • Microcharcoal
  • Pollen analysis
  • Temperate wooded steppe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Magyari, E., Chapman, J. C., Passmore, D. G., Allen, J. R. M., Huntley, J. P., & Huntley, B. (2010). Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain. Journal of Biogeography, 37(5), 915-935. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02261.x

Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain. / Magyari, E.; Chapman, J. C.; Passmore, D. G.; Allen, J. R M; Huntley, J. P.; Huntley, B.

In: Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 37, No. 5, 05.2010, p. 915-935.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Magyari, E, Chapman, JC, Passmore, DG, Allen, JRM, Huntley, JP & Huntley, B 2010, 'Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain', Journal of Biogeography, vol. 37, no. 5, pp. 915-935. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02261.x
Magyari, E. ; Chapman, J. C. ; Passmore, D. G. ; Allen, J. R M ; Huntley, J. P. ; Huntley, B. / Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain. In: Journal of Biogeography. 2010 ; Vol. 37, No. 5. pp. 915-935.
@article{773cdca4ff674d948583deb0f51d9b0b,
title = "Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain",
abstract = "Aim: We used a combination of new and previously published palaeoecological data to test three hypotheses: that wooded steppe persisted in the Great Hungarian Plain throughout the Holocene; that wooded steppe and steppe were most extensive between c. 9900 and 8300 cal. yr bp (the 'Boreal steppe' period); and that Southern Continental, Pontic and Eastern Sub-Mediterranean steppe species reached the region during the early Holocene via the 'Lower Danube Corridor'. Location: Sarl{\'o}-h{\'a}t oxbow lake, Hungary and the Eastern European wooded steppe zone. Methods: Holocene sediments deposited in the Sarl{\'o}-h{\'a}t oxbow lake were subjected to pollen and microcharcoal analyses. Twelve radiocarbon age estimates were obtained to determine sediment chronology. In addition, previously published palaeoecological data from the Great Hungarian Plain were compiled, analysed and compared with previous studies in other regions of steppe and wooded steppe in eastern Europe. Results: Palynological data from two sediment cores extending to c. 11,400 cal. yr bp indicate the persistent dominance of the landscape by temperate deciduous wooded steppe throughout the Holocene, although with varying canopy composition. Warm-continental steppe grasslands and saline tall-grass meadows developed on edaphically constrained areas, which remained steppe-dominated throughout the Holocene. The extent of steppe grasslands did not increase between 9900 and 8300 cal. yr bp. After c. 3100 cal. yr bp, anthropogenic activities led to the development of cultural steppe. Thermophilous steppe species of the Southern Continental, Pontic and Sub-Mediterranean floristic elements probably reached the Great Hungarian Plain principally via the Lower Danube Corridor during the late glacial interstadial and Holocene. Eurythermic members of these elements, however, probably survived the Last Glacial Maximum in favourable microsites, extending their ranges during the Holocene from these local sources. Main conclusions: Our results confirm the Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain, disprove the 'Boreal steppe' theory, and suggest an Early Holocene period of greater vegetation openness between 11,400 and 9900 cal. yr bp. Evidence for the post-glacial immigration of south-eastern steppe elements into the Carpathian Basin is equivocal: the last glacial/interglacial presence of several southern steppe species suggests that the Hungarian Plain hosted suitable habitats for them during warm and cold phases alike.",
keywords = "Carpathian Basin, Holocene vegetation history, Hungary, Lower Danube Corridor, Microcharcoal, Pollen analysis, Temperate wooded steppe",
author = "E. Magyari and Chapman, {J. C.} and Passmore, {D. G.} and Allen, {J. R M} and Huntley, {J. P.} and B. Huntley",
year = "2010",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02261.x",
language = "English",
volume = "37",
pages = "915--935",
journal = "Journal of Biogeography",
issn = "0305-0270",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain

AU - Magyari, E.

AU - Chapman, J. C.

AU - Passmore, D. G.

AU - Allen, J. R M

AU - Huntley, J. P.

AU - Huntley, B.

PY - 2010/5

Y1 - 2010/5

N2 - Aim: We used a combination of new and previously published palaeoecological data to test three hypotheses: that wooded steppe persisted in the Great Hungarian Plain throughout the Holocene; that wooded steppe and steppe were most extensive between c. 9900 and 8300 cal. yr bp (the 'Boreal steppe' period); and that Southern Continental, Pontic and Eastern Sub-Mediterranean steppe species reached the region during the early Holocene via the 'Lower Danube Corridor'. Location: Sarló-hát oxbow lake, Hungary and the Eastern European wooded steppe zone. Methods: Holocene sediments deposited in the Sarló-hát oxbow lake were subjected to pollen and microcharcoal analyses. Twelve radiocarbon age estimates were obtained to determine sediment chronology. In addition, previously published palaeoecological data from the Great Hungarian Plain were compiled, analysed and compared with previous studies in other regions of steppe and wooded steppe in eastern Europe. Results: Palynological data from two sediment cores extending to c. 11,400 cal. yr bp indicate the persistent dominance of the landscape by temperate deciduous wooded steppe throughout the Holocene, although with varying canopy composition. Warm-continental steppe grasslands and saline tall-grass meadows developed on edaphically constrained areas, which remained steppe-dominated throughout the Holocene. The extent of steppe grasslands did not increase between 9900 and 8300 cal. yr bp. After c. 3100 cal. yr bp, anthropogenic activities led to the development of cultural steppe. Thermophilous steppe species of the Southern Continental, Pontic and Sub-Mediterranean floristic elements probably reached the Great Hungarian Plain principally via the Lower Danube Corridor during the late glacial interstadial and Holocene. Eurythermic members of these elements, however, probably survived the Last Glacial Maximum in favourable microsites, extending their ranges during the Holocene from these local sources. Main conclusions: Our results confirm the Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain, disprove the 'Boreal steppe' theory, and suggest an Early Holocene period of greater vegetation openness between 11,400 and 9900 cal. yr bp. Evidence for the post-glacial immigration of south-eastern steppe elements into the Carpathian Basin is equivocal: the last glacial/interglacial presence of several southern steppe species suggests that the Hungarian Plain hosted suitable habitats for them during warm and cold phases alike.

AB - Aim: We used a combination of new and previously published palaeoecological data to test three hypotheses: that wooded steppe persisted in the Great Hungarian Plain throughout the Holocene; that wooded steppe and steppe were most extensive between c. 9900 and 8300 cal. yr bp (the 'Boreal steppe' period); and that Southern Continental, Pontic and Eastern Sub-Mediterranean steppe species reached the region during the early Holocene via the 'Lower Danube Corridor'. Location: Sarló-hát oxbow lake, Hungary and the Eastern European wooded steppe zone. Methods: Holocene sediments deposited in the Sarló-hát oxbow lake were subjected to pollen and microcharcoal analyses. Twelve radiocarbon age estimates were obtained to determine sediment chronology. In addition, previously published palaeoecological data from the Great Hungarian Plain were compiled, analysed and compared with previous studies in other regions of steppe and wooded steppe in eastern Europe. Results: Palynological data from two sediment cores extending to c. 11,400 cal. yr bp indicate the persistent dominance of the landscape by temperate deciduous wooded steppe throughout the Holocene, although with varying canopy composition. Warm-continental steppe grasslands and saline tall-grass meadows developed on edaphically constrained areas, which remained steppe-dominated throughout the Holocene. The extent of steppe grasslands did not increase between 9900 and 8300 cal. yr bp. After c. 3100 cal. yr bp, anthropogenic activities led to the development of cultural steppe. Thermophilous steppe species of the Southern Continental, Pontic and Sub-Mediterranean floristic elements probably reached the Great Hungarian Plain principally via the Lower Danube Corridor during the late glacial interstadial and Holocene. Eurythermic members of these elements, however, probably survived the Last Glacial Maximum in favourable microsites, extending their ranges during the Holocene from these local sources. Main conclusions: Our results confirm the Holocene persistence of wooded steppe in the Great Hungarian Plain, disprove the 'Boreal steppe' theory, and suggest an Early Holocene period of greater vegetation openness between 11,400 and 9900 cal. yr bp. Evidence for the post-glacial immigration of south-eastern steppe elements into the Carpathian Basin is equivocal: the last glacial/interglacial presence of several southern steppe species suggests that the Hungarian Plain hosted suitable habitats for them during warm and cold phases alike.

KW - Carpathian Basin

KW - Holocene vegetation history

KW - Hungary

KW - Lower Danube Corridor

KW - Microcharcoal

KW - Pollen analysis

KW - Temperate wooded steppe

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77953108778&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77953108778&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02261.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02261.x

M3 - Article

VL - 37

SP - 915

EP - 935

JO - Journal of Biogeography

JF - Journal of Biogeography

SN - 0305-0270

IS - 5

ER -